Jake Tapper: The connections between Trump and those he's pardoned

President Trump's pardoning of a political ally and consideration of clemency for two former reality show colleagues ...

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 5:04 AM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 5:04 AM

President Trump's pardoning of a political ally and consideration of clemency for two former reality show colleagues could be sending a larger message to witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

On Thursday, Trump announced unexpectedly that he is granting a "full pardon" to the controversial conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, who had pleaded guilty in 2014 for federal campaign cash crimes.

"Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D'Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!" Trump tweeted.

Just a few hours after that tweet, Trump told reporters that he is considering commuting the sentence of the Former Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, as well as pardoning businesswoman, best-selling author and insider trader Martha Stewart.

CNN's Jake Tapper detailed connections between President Trump's recently announced and suggested "pardons" today on "The Lead" -- mostly that he thinks the government is treating him and them unfairly.

"Critics and analysts suggest this is all of apiece, these are all individuals prosecuted by people the president deems his opponents ... ones who faced charges that members of the Trump team could face themselves," said Tapper.

While both Blagojevich and Stewart appeared on Trump's former television show, "The Apprentice," the coincidence doesn't stop there.

Both of their convictions have ties to the former FBI Director James Comey. For Stewart, she was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction and false statements by then U.S. Attorney James Comey. For Blagojevich, he was convicted of 17 public corruption charges, including wire fraud, and was arrested during US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's tenure in Chicago.

Fitzgerald is a close friend of Comey's, currently a member of Comey's legal team and was appointed by Comey to investigate and prosecute the Valerie Plane leak, which resulted in the conviction of Cheney aide Scooter Libby for lying to the FBI (who Trump also pardoned). Furthermore, D'Souza was prosecuted by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (who Trump fired).

And if those similarities aren't enough, both D'Souza and Stewart were prosecuted by the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, the same one that is currently criminally investigating Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

"Is a signal being sent here at all by the president about his feelings about that office and his willingness to forgive the crimes of those targeted by law enforcement there?" Tapper asked Thursday on "The Lead."

The categorization from Trump that D'Souza was "treated unfairly" is not new. Tapper noted an emerging theme for Trump pardons and potential pardons so far -- that the US government is treating people unfairly. Trump has said this for Blagojevich, Stewart, Libby and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"Sounds a lot like the way the president talks about how he and others who are part of the Russia investigation being treated by special counsel Robert Mueller," Tapper said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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